Chapter 5 is void of Frederick references. Anne goes to stay with Mary and is reintroduced into Uppercross society. This section is from Chapter 4, elaborating on Anne’s feeling about the break-up.
But in this case, Anne had left nothing for advice to do; and though Lady Russell, as satisfied as ever with her own discretion, never wished the past undone, she began now to have the anxiety which borders on hopelessness for Anne’s being tempted, by some man of talents and independence, to enter a state for which she held her to be peculiarly fitted by her warm affections and domestic habits.
They knew not each other’s opinion, either its constancy or its change, on the one leading point of Anne’s conduct, for the subject was never alluded to; but Anne, at seven-and-twenty, thought very differently from what she had been made to think at nineteen. She did not blame Lady Russell, she did not blame herself for having been guided by her; but she felt that were any young person, in similar circumstances, to apply to her for counsel, they would never receive any of such certain immediate wretchedness, such uncertain future good. She was persuaded that under every disadvantage of disapprobation at home, and every anxiety attending his profession, all their probable fears, delays, and disappointments, she should yet have been a happier woman in maintaining the engagement, than she had been in the sacrifice of it; and this, she fully believed, had the usual share, had even more than the usual share of all such solicitudes and suspense been theirs, without reference to the actual results of their case, which, as it happened, would have bestowed earlier prosperity than could be reasonably calculated on. All his sanguine expectations, all his confidence had been justified. His genius and ardour had seemed to foresee and to command his prosperous path. He had, very soon after their engagement ceased, got employ: and all that he had told her would follow, had taken place. He had distinguished himself, and early gained the other step in rank, and must now, by successive captures, have made a handsome fortune. She had only navy lists and newspapers for her authority, but she could not doubt his being rich; and, in
favour of his constancy, she had no reason to believe him married.
How eloquent could Anne Elliot have been! how eloquent, at least, were her wishes on the side of early warm attachment, and a cheerful confidence in futurity, against that over-anxious caution which seems to insult exertion and distrust Providence! She had been forced into prudence in her youth, she learned romance as she grew older: the natural sequel of an unnatural beginning.
How eloquent she could have been, if only she had tried. Though Anne is an honest woman, it’s interesting that when she and Frederick talk at the end of Persuasion, she dodges admitting her true feelings. She doesn’t tell him that she thinks no matter what, they would have been happier had they remained engaged. And that could have been done. Her father did not say they couldn’t marry, just that he would do nothing for them.
What Anne does say is that while she might not advise anyone in their same circumstance to break up, she thinks that she was true to her convictions and that obedience in a woman is not a bad thing. WTHeck?
Frederick has written the letter. He has apologized on the Gravel Walk talk. He has now brought up that he thinks there is someone maybe more guilty than even Lady Russell in keeping them apart. Him. And Anne, dear, thoughtful, elegant-minded Anne Elliot plays coy. Ego, thy name is Anne.